21 July, 2015
On Magic in FUBAR (Part 3)
FUBAR flows fast.
I've typically found that once players get used to the system, it only takes seconds to work out how many dice to roll, allocated them between the three categories, then continue on the way with the story's new direction (which may have been accelerated, slowed down, or diverted in course due to the roll). I don't want magick to mechanically slow things down, but many of the system scenarios going through my head have done just that.
Since I'm working with the idea of rotes and freeform magick, separate to coincidental effects and vulgar, we've got 4 possible options. That gives us 4 basic options...
Coincidental Rotes - These are the easiest and most subtle types of magick for a mage to shape reality with, they are also typically the ones that will disrupt play the least.
Coincidental Freeform Effects - These types of magick are subtle, but may make things go in unexpected directions because they simply can't be accounted for at the start of play.
Vulgar Rotes - These types of magick are dangerous, but the oracle knows of their existence before they manifest, so their potential impact on the long term story can generally be accounted for.
Vulgar Freeform Effects - These are the hardest magickal effects to accomplish, but they are also the most dangerous to the world and to the narrative.
The manifestation of these various effects is basically covered in what I determined during the last post. It doesn't need something complicated for each possible variation. The only thing really needed now is a way of differentiating those effects based on the spheres used, and the specific choice of manifestations. For that I'm thinking cards.
If it has been specified that a magickal effect can manifest a number of traits equal to the user's sphere level, then it might also be said that a Mage has access to a number of cards with specific trait effects on them. For a level 3 effect, combine 3 cards to determine what happens. The higher the Mage's sphere level, the more powerful the cards they have access to. If a Mage has a higher Arete than the sphere level they are trying to manifest, maybe they can use cards that buy off potential penalties, or modify the effect in some other way. (In that level 3 example, if the Mage has Arete 4, they might be able to add 1 extra card into the mix, or buy off 1 potential negative trait...thus the only people able to cast level 5 effects with no chance of negative traits at all would be the "Arete-10 Ascended Oracles"...but they're basically deities anyway). The aim is to quickly throw down a bunch of cards, read off the effects and interpret that in the context of the story. Rotes basically become pre-determined card combos.
Just something I'm toying with. Seems quick and easy, let's see what happens when it hits play.